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Veteran Advisor

Economy Observations

There seem to be many out there that are hoping our economy tanks before the elections next year.  From what I have been seeing,  don't think that is going to happen.

 

We are now what - almost 8 years into the crash?  When the farms crashed in 1981, it took 6 to 7 years to bottom, and another 7 before farmland was back to where it was before the crash.  Looking at the stock market, it took 5 years to recover what was lost on the Dow.  Housing has been much slower, primarily because it is what caused the crash, due to the greed of those propagating a housing market that was really fantasy land for many years.  Housing has bottomed, and I suspect that it will have run it's course in another 3-4 years, and then be mostly back on track where housing is a good investment once again.  There are very similar characteristics (the way I see it) between the farm and the housing crash.  And I think they will continue to play out the same way.

 

Beyond that though, I tend to talk to people when I'm shopping, or like early this week, when I took my motorhome in to have solar panels installed.  They had only a few class A's on the lot up at King's Campers in Wausau, WI.  When I asked why, they said they "Couldn't keep them in stock".    They order homes, but before they arrive, they are usually sold.  And it's been that way for awhile.  They are setting new records monthly in sales and in repairs.  And right now, it's booming.  People have money...they are just being more select about how they are using it.

 

Highway traffic - is it just me, or are the highways getting really crowded again?   I know that traffic in Oklahoma City was way above where it was a few years ago.  And it seemed like on the trip back on I35, it was busy with many more semis than just a few years ago also.  Not even taking into account all the trains now carrying trailers around the country that I seem to see continously.

 

I'm seeing building again, even in areas that have been shut down for years.  In OKC, it looked like building was starting to boom again.  Talking with my CAT dealer, he said that sales have been "HOT", as I'm looking to buy a replacement for my Cat 247 skid steer when the new model comes out later this year, a 249 with two speeds and some new goodies to play with.

 

I see many, many signs out there that the economy has, and is continuing to improve.  Those that don't see it maybe need to take off the blinders, and look at more than just a constant set of numbers, that may be lagging the reality of what's going on.   I think we are doing tremendously better.  Is it 2007?  No - but that was not real anyway, and looking to recapture what we as a nation were doing in early 2000 is NOT realistic.  Slow, steady growth right now is a good thing.  I see it - others do to.  

 

Jen

 

 

 

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14 Replies
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Senior Advisor

Re: Economy Observations

Wish I could agree with you Jen. Japan has held on 20+ years waiting for their economy to speed up, like we are right now, and it hasn't happened. Their middle class will not budge. They have technology, an educated work force and export like crazy. That's the track we are now on. They are now the #1 holder of US Treasuries as their middle class saves to stay insulated from economic threats.

 

We have boomers retiring and they're not playing anymore even though some have money. Still, many don't and the Wall St fiasco and falling real wages didn't help the situation. Many of the younger workers are getting by living with parents and adopting a lifestyle of low consumption and not even owning vehicles (in urban areas). Things have changed and coping mechanisms tend to become permanent after a time - like our Depression/WWII parents or grandparents.

 

There are those who believe China's growth numbers at @7% aren't realistic and it is has been the sole engine behind the global economy lately. They have been using 2/3 of the global production of cement.

 

 

 

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Economy Observations

Construction is booming in Tulsa both housing and commercial building. A house identical to the one I bought in 2003 is priced at $300K today or nearly double what it was then. Banks restaurants churches are the most active deals and we got anew Costco under construction. Our street 121st south has 5 new developments within two miles east or west on on our street. Most houses from $300K to $450K.  Lots are commonly $80k to $100k.

 

Luxury Apartment house are multiplying like rabbits. Folks that lost houses in the crisis cannot find down stroke money to buy new but they can cash flow leasing. Job situation is pretty good but the oil industry has hit a bump and some of those jobs are fleeting.

 

Good to see you back amongst us, jen

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Economy Observations

Pal, Japan is not here.  I'm not looking at numbers.  I'm tired of numbers and how they are manipulated to make it look how the writer wants it to look.  Which is why I didn't include numbers here.

 

Take just one company Hobby Lobby - the supposed little family owned company based in OKC that didn't want to provide their workers with President Obama's health care plan.

 

Little family owned company - whatever.  I haved lived in Oklahoma about as much as here in MN over the last 5 years.  North of Will Rogers Airport and Airport Road (Hwy 152) and between MacArthur Blvd and South Council Road is the heart of the little business.  Try about 2 square miles of buildings, owned mostly by the Hobby Lobby empire.  And they are destroying buildings in the area daily to put up more Hobby Lobby warehouses.  It's awesome.  Take a look at it on google if you don't live there.  It's not a "little family business" in what I think of as a little family business, and if most people knew the truth, they wouldn't think it was either.

 

But that's neither here are there.  You know what these guys sell?  Junk mainly.  Household junk.  And from what I see going out there, business is booming at this little family owned business.  Have we purchased there?  Yes - we like their yarn.  But what they sell is stuff that people don't really need.  If our economy was that bad, would this company be booming?  It's just one that I am familiar with, because I went by these guys all the time.  And if someone came into town, and wanted a quick tour, it was one of the areas I went through to show them this "little family business".  

 

It's all how you spin the numbers.  Numbers lie - ask Congress. They are the world's greatest at spinning numbers.

 

Most of my money is in the stock market.  Do I trust the stock market to make me money?  Duh...NO!    Just another numbers game, like the futures market.  But I don't think sinking it all in CD's is a smart play either.  Prices are going up much faster than any money in a CD - I'm just trying to keep up with what I have.

 

Jen

 

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Economy Observations

Welcome back Jen! Sounds like you have found a new source of fire and brimstone! Ha! By the way, our business is booming. Several new hires and sales of our organic grain sales continue to exceed forecasts. I love America!
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Veteran Advisor

Re: Economy Observations

We just got back from shopping in Apple Valley.  It's not quite like before, but, building is taking place.  and once again, big honking houses.  Will people never learn...

 

Lots of farmers out in the fields between Cannon Falls and Apple Valley today.  Dust in the fields.  Not every field by any means with a tractor on it, but the peas are going in the ground rapidly.

 

Jen

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Advisor

Re: Economy Observations

Your funny Jen anyone who can find something positive in this ridiculous economy I commend, good for you, honestly. However the economy, markets, interest rates and everything in this country are based on numbers. Not that I agree by any-means, but that is reality. The distance between upper and lower class has never been greater, what middle class 90% of the country will tell you. We shall see though, with an election for a term position that tipically is nothing more than a puppet for oil elites that really run the economy anything is possible I have seen.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Economy Observations

    No,it will be stylish!

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Honored Advisor

Re: Economy Observations

Those doin` good are really doin` good and those that let the fed run Wall Street handle their two,  6-figure incomes don`t know what to do with all their money.  And the way it sounds the boomers have this fad of driving around in a motorhome, so i`m sure that segment of the economy is doing well.  Second homes on Okoboji, pontoons, jet skis, Harleys and real granite countertops.

 

Those that put together motorhomes aren`t getting their "ice in the summer" though, for the rest of the economy it`s more like the Hunger Games.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfmrPu43DF8 

 

 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Economy Observations

BA, I can't disagree with you.  And I always wonder how someone making $10.00 an hour out there are making it.  And I know the answer to that to - they aren't.

 

But I'm not the one in control of what a person makes.  Every time a bill comes before Congress to up the minimum wage, it's a firestorm with with the Republicans carrying the largest torches.  

 

I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth.  My inheritance from my grandfathers farm that I had grown up on was the 1942 "H" tractor.  The 80 acres of land I bought from my grandparents siblings for the going rate at the time.

 

The biggest inheritance we've gotten came from a source we didn't expect.  My partners dad was a Methodist minister who had 9 children.  They lived very, very frugally, and managed to have more than a million in the bank when they passed on.  I couldn't believe it - and still find it somewhat hard to believe.  Maybe some aren't doing so well, because they have a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget.

 

As for me, I earned my time in the motor home.  Did I catch some breaks along the way - yes.   But they aren't breaks from someone giving it to me - I earned it.  I was basically working 3 jobs when I started having heart problems 5 years ago, and ended up having to quit a LOT of what I loved.  And it hurt.  A LOT.  I loved working as an Air Traffic Controller.  And I don't know if I would've been one if Regan hadn't fired the whole lot of them back in Aug of 1981.  I had my application in 3 years BEFORE the controllers went on strike, and had a good test score (93).  I didn't have a lot of sympathy for someone making $70,000 per year and whining about not having a health club at their facility.  I had just filed bankruptcy on my farm, and I needed a job.  I took the offer.  When the President says, "Go back to work", you go back to work.

 

But even after 28 years of doing the job, I occasionally came home and said, "They don't pay me enough for this job!"   How many CEOs will come home and say that today I wonder?  With their mega salaries, while those they employ make the $10.00 an hour?  

 

This is America.  I was one of those not able to make it not so long ago.  But I WORKED my way out of it.  I worked two, or even three jobs most of my life.  And I still find myself in Oklahoma teaching, even though I probably don't need to do that.

 

I don't know about the other motor homes on the road.  But I do know about mine.  And trust me, I earned my time and my time off to do what I want in it.

 

Jen

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